The name valerian comes from the Latin “valere”, a word meaning health or strength, therefore associated with well-being.
Valerian is highly valued for its effects on the nervous system. Among other things, it is considered a natural sedative with properties similar to other relaxing infusions, such as chamomile or lemon balm.
Properties of valerian infusion
Since the time of the Roman Empire and Ancient Greece, valerian was used as a remedy for insomnia, cough and pain. Currently, natural medicine usually recommends the intake of valerian infusion to regain balance. Mainly, it is used in case of problems falling asleep, depression or anxiety. Let’s analyze its properties.
To fall asleep
To date, scientific research on valerian is scarce, but despite this, some studies indicate that it helps to fall asleep in the case of mild disorders.
Those with sleep problems improved the quality of their sleep when they began to regularly ingest valerian infusion. This study that drinking this infusion would help improve sleep quality.
Its sedative properties would help reduce brain hyperactivity, promoting relaxation. An article in the Professional Pharmacy Magazine pointed out that its sedative and hypnotic activity make it an excellent ally in cases of anxiety, nervousness and sleep disorders.
Stress can cause chronic headaches and even migraines. Valerian tea induces relaxation and induces sleep, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.
Relieve muscle and joint pain
Due to the anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxing properties mentioned above, valerian infusion can be an excellent option to relieve pain caused by joint diseases, blows, cramps or menstrual cramps.
Reduce symptoms of menopause
Menopause is characterized by the annoying hot flashes that bother women so much. Well, a study confirmed that valerian infusion reduces the presence of these symptoms.
Improve symptoms of depression
Although the results are not conclusive, it is believed that regular consumption of valerian would improve mood, being useful in cases of depression.
The valerian plant
Valerian, by its scientific name Valeriana officinalis, is a perennial herb of the Valerianaceae family, native to Europe and Asia. Although there are more than 150 different species, Valerian officinalis is considered the most common.
This plant, which can reach 120 cm in height, stands out for its toothed leaves and small pale pink flowers that appear in spring and summer. Its fruits are oval and draw attention to a feathery plume that crowns the tip.
In general, it can be found near water, in humid forests and on the banks of rivers and streams, although it also grows in sub-mountainous areas and plains.
Also known as cat grass, due to the state of ecstasy in which cats enter when they smell it, valerian is perfect for growing on terraces, orchards and balconies.
Although the easiest way to have a valerian plant at home is to multiply it through a cutting from an adult plant, it is also possible to plant seeds.
Of course, you must bear in mind that this plant requires soils with neutral pH substrates, rich in organic matter and well drained. Although it is true that valerian grows best in humid areas, it does not like waterlogged soils.
In order for it to grow healthy and strong, you must give it away regularly, expose it to direct light (although it usually grows well in semi-shade too) and take care of the temperature since it prefers temperate climates.
How to prepare a valerian infusion at home
If you are a follower of Infusionism, you already know how to prepare the best herbal infusions at home and this one, in particular, will not be a problem for you.
- 5 valerian leaves or 5 g of valerian root.
- 1 cup of water.
- Boil the water.
- Place the grated valerian root or leaves into the pot.
- Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let infuse for 5 more minutes.
- Strain, add honey and drink.
If you suffer from anxiety, depression or sleep disorders, valerian infusion can help you find the balance you have lost. Take advantage of it!